Thursday, March 26, 2009

Idols not as depressing as the Motown economy (Idol Top 10)

It’s Motown Night on Idol. Which will be interrupted in my viewing for the evening by something far more important – a fresh new episode of Lost on ABC.

Motown legend Berry Gordy will be present (along with Smoky Robinson). I wonder if anyone will choose Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me?” (Remember that from back in the 80s? With a cameo from the {allegedly} pederastically inclined Michael Jackson). After all, Rockwell was Berry Gordy’s son. I’m guessing Scott wouldn’t choose that one. Damn, you’re the Gordy scion and all you get is one novelty hit? Shame. And how old is Smoky? He looks like a wax figure.

Anyhoo, on with the show.

Matt is batting lead off tonight, and will be doing “Let’s Get It On.” I have no problems with the arrangement, but he has quite a few sketchy moments with the falsetto, which Randy inexplicably likes quite a bit. The judges are more positive on him than I am. Meanwhile, Madame Tussaud inquires about Smoky’s availability. 6

Kris walks in with his guitar and will be singing “How Sweet It Is” a la James Taylor (not the “JT” that Matt wants to be a clone of). Completely serviceable, and a safe choice for him. What are those numbers on his shirt? Should they be entered into a computer, in a hatch, on the show I’m going to be watching in a few minutes? I also like how he handles the comments about being “conceited” and “confident.” 6

Next we have Scott with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Against Paula’s advice, he’s not going to leave the piano and run an onstage obstacle course. (And is it fair to make jokes about a blind guy wearing washed out pink pants? Too soon?) This isn’t a total train wreck, but it sounds a lot like something you would hear in an airport bar in Branson. At least it wasn’t another sappy ballad. 3 (And Paula dives under the table to settle some squabbling with Simon by handing him a box of Crayolas and a coloring book. Cute. Though at first, I thought that was heading someplace entirely different).

Megan is up next performing “For Once In My Life.” From the snippets with the candleman, this sounds like it could be….interesting. The melons are less prominently displayed this week, and she doesn’t have the flu. Perhaps just dementia. She turns down the seizure masquerading as dance from previous performances, and does a jazzy, messy, poorly phrased, horribly sung, off key wipe out. Horrific. 2

Hey, Dollhouse is kicking ass now. FOX, how ‘bout a frakkin’ commercial?

Anoop will give us “Ooooh, Baby Baby.” Not one of my favorite songs, but Anoop once again shows a lot control hitting the quiet notes well. He does hit a couple of lip smacking pops into the mic inadvertently, and the song can be somnambulant, but it’s a quality performance. He’s impressed me a lot since his first week stumble. 6

Is there really an audience for an Osbourne family variety show? The Middleman and Pushing Daisies get canceled, and Chuck, Terminator and Dollhouse struggle near death in the ratings, and Big Love and Mad Men get only a couple million eyeballs a week. (Hell, BSG only got a little over 2.4 viewers million for the fucking series finale). If this show is a hit, I’ll bite the head off a live bat.

Michael will follow with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” Evidently, he was very sick all week. Hmmm. First Megan, then Michael. Could they be spreading more than gossip about Ryan’s hair products in the Idol House? With all the teeny bopper parents among this season’s contestants, we might have a live delivery for the finals. Fresh off last week’s stumble with a Garth Brooks tune, Michael is all over the place, rarely hitting a worthwhile note. Wow, this kind of swallows him whole and it’s hit the mute button terrible. 2

Based on the description I heard, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell I’d watch Glee. But ya know what? It likes rather intriguing. Perhaps Ryan Murphy’s involvement in getting this off the ground can explain what the fuck has been happening with Nip/Tuck.

Lil Rounds will be doing “Heat Wave.” She gets all weepy about Motown, and wants to do this for Martha Reeves and Diana Ross. I’m sure they’re touched. The mix coming through my TV has the band overwhelming her a bit, but damn, she sounds pretty good. She rushes through some phrasing, but oddly, I’m agreeing with Paula more than the others (perhaps it was that handful of barbiturates I just washed down with my whiskey). This is the first time I’ve really liked Lil, and she looks appropriately Motownish to boot. 7

Here we go with Adam. After pissing on Johnny Cash’s corpse last week, how can he top that? Shoot Marvin Gaye again? Grudge fuck a zombie Otis Redding? He’ll be doing Smoky’s “Tracks of My Tears.” Hey! Who took away “I raided my mom’s Mary Kay Cadillac trunk” emo boy and replaced him on stage with the love child of KD Lang and Don Draper? This is really subtle, earnest and heartfelt, and he does a spectacular job with it. Smoky proves that wax is animate and gets up to applaud. It’s unique yet comfortable, and without question, the best of the night. Wow. 9

Danny will be doing one of my favorite Motown tunes, “Get Ready.” He sounds likeably soulful on this, and does a great job with it. The judges aren’t as high on this as I am, but I thought he was fantastic. Not quite as showstopping as Adam, but I really enjoyed this. 8

Last but not least, we have Allison, who was inexplicably in the bottom 3 last week. (Yo, America, what up?) Another of my favorite Motown songs, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” Damn, do I love her voice, and she completely blows doors with this. How does someone who is only 16 sound like she’s been smoking, drinking and experiencing life for four decades? I will rate Adam’s performance slightly higher from a technical standpoint, but this was my absolute favorite of them all. 8.

TNRLM Top 3: Adam, Allison, Danny

TNRLM Bottom 3: Michael, Megan, Scott


  1. Dude...Smokey Robinson scares the crap out of me. It's why I couldn't really mention him that much in my recap. He gives me the willies.

    I think that bottom 3 is pretty much universal. Obviously TPTB visit DialIdol as well, as they made sure that Alison got the pimp spot this week, and she certainly took advantage of it.

    Did I mention that she is only SIXTEEN? SIXTEEN!!!111!!1!

  2. SIXTEEN!!! (yeah, I mentioned that too, dammit). Maybe they should just pick up on that ONE trait for each contestant, and flog it Tourette's style. He's GAAAAAY! His wife is DEEEEEAD!!! He's BOOOORRRING!!! He's BLIIIIIND!!! Hot WIIIIIFE!!!

    Slather some make up on Smoky, and he would be Pennywise. (Though the idolettes, given all the multiple teen reproductions, seem to have adopted monster defense strategy from the book version of "It")

    And what's funny, is that he was the usual "sparkles and rainbows" type of "mentor." The only real advice he gave was to Gokey, who promptly went out and IGNORED him. Maybe Smoky, pissed about that, will haunt him from the closet or under his bed.

  3. Yeah...I never really got how that strategy worked. I think King just developed a rather unhealthy crush on Bev.

    Two things I forgot to mention (which I probably will in my mini-recap of tonight's show): Danny totally ignoring Smokey and the judges completely ignoring it, and Kara's critique of Adam: "Six words for ya: One of the best performances of the night!"